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How is acupuncture treatment carried out

Acupuncture generally involves several weekly or fortnightly treatments. You may have several visits to complete your treatment. A visit to an acupuncturist will involve an exam and an assessment of the patient's condition, the insertion of needles, and advice on self-care. Most sessions last for 15 minutes to an hour depending on your condition. Some people have ongoing visits.

Your acupuncture provider will give you an exam and ask questions about your pain and how well you are functioning. He or she will also ask about your overall health. Then your provider will look for the places (called points) on your body to access the qi that is blocked or not flowing right. Each of the points relates to certain health problems or body functions. Your provider will look for landmarks on your body-using certain muscles or bones, for example-to find the points so that he or she can place the needles.

After the provider finds the points, he or she will quickly tap very thin needles into your skin. He or she will probably place several needles. Some may be placed deeper than others, depending on what the provider believes is needed to restore the flow of qi. The patient will be asked to lie down, either face-up, face-down or on his/her side, depending on where the needless are inserted. The acupuncturist should use single-use disposable sterile needles. As each needle is inserted the patient should feel them, but initially without pain. However, when the needle reaches the right depth there should be a deep sensation. Sometimes the needles are heated or stimulated with electricity after insertion. Once inserted, the needles will remain there for about twenty minutes.

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